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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the culture and lifestyle in Goa?

Apoorva Harduley DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

To any Indian, Goa invokes the image of sandy beaches, seafront lounging and open air pubs and bars and of course the music! Goa is all this and much more. Goa's story that spans over a course of 1,00,000 years has been that of series of conquest by tribes, sultans, kings, governors and colonising cultures, each vying for this land of aquamarine beauty. Goans have seamlessly fused their multicultural identities, taking in the most appealing elements of each successive settlement.

Multicultural fusion: Given the number of venerated churches in Goa and Christmas festivities held here, Christianity may appear to you to be the leading religion here. But to the contrary, vast majority of Goans are actually Hindus, about 65%, while only 30% of the population is Christians with 5% being Muslims. However, this number doesn't reveal the true religious diversity of the place. During Portuguese rule, many Hindus converted to the new faith in order to remain in the territory. The result is that today, for many generations, many Goan families have contained both Catholic and Hindu members. If you look closely enough the fusion of these religions will be evident to you. You will see Christ and Virgin Mary adorned with Hindu flower garlands and Mass being said in Konkani.

The local economy thrives on a combination of tourism and mining, namely iron ore. You wouldn't be surprised to know that 12% of all tourists that come to India annually arrive in Goa and at times have also exceeded the permanent population.

Music: Though Goa is rich in folk music, you may not get to hear much of it in the course of your trip as most shops, bars, and restaurants in Goa blare out modern Hindi, Latin and Western music. If you are keen on listening to it, you could get any of the albums by Gavana, a cultural group dedicated to preserving and promoting Goan music and dance, at the local music shops. Those of you familiar with classical Hindi music would know the great vocalist Kesarbi Kerkar hailed from Goa. Of course, we all know Goa's most famous and popular singer Remo Fernandes. Interestingly, not many know, Lata Mangeshkar too is native to Goa. Music aficionados would also be familiar with Goa Trance or Psy-Trance, a hypnotic mix of heavy electronic beat (170 beats per minute), with lighter levels derived from Indian classical music, developed by Goan DJs, especially Goa Gil, in the 1990s. Today it is performed around the world, especially in Europe, Scandinavia and Israel.

Party in the veins: Goans need the flimsiest of reasons to party and celebrate and regardless of the month you go, feasting and celebrations of some festival will be going on. They love to drink, sadly evident in their high level of alcoholism, and you will find alcohol widely and cheaply available here, except perhaps for wine.

Whether you laze on palm fringed beaches in Goa that run in an almost unbroken stretch or sample one of the original food fusion of Portuguese and South Indian cuisines or experience Goa's alluring archaeological and historic remains, this tropical paradise will leave you as hooked as the seafood specials that you dine on here. You can enjoy the vibrant culture in these places to visit in Goa.

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